Last month’s sheep slaughterings drop 4.4% compared to December 2019

The sheep slaughtering figure last month was down 4.4% compared to December 2019, according to the latest livestock slaughterings figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Some 256,300 head of sheep were slaughtered in December 2020, compared with 268,000 head 12 months earlier.

Meanwhile, cattle slaughterings increased 1.7% last month compared to December 2019 (145,800 head last month, up from 143,400 head in December 2019), while pig slaughterings increased by 7.4% (289,900 head in December 2020, up from 269,900 head in the same month of 2019).

Looking at the whole-year periods of 2019 and 2020, 1.6% more cattle were slaughtered in 2020 compared to 2019. The cattle slaughterings figure increased from around 1.85 million head in 2019 to around 1.88 million head in 2020.

The number of sheep slaughtered in 2020 was 2.1% higher than in 2019. In the earlier year, around 3.05 million head of sheep were slaughtered. The 2020 figure was over 3.11 million head.

Slaughter figures for pigs also saw an increase in 2020 compared to 2019. In 2020, 3.54 million head were slaughtered, up from 3.45 million head in 2019. This equates to an increase of around 2.6%.

Carcass weight

The CSO also provides figures for carcass weight. Looking at the figures for December 2020 compared to December 2019, total carcass weight of slaughtered cattle was 48,400t last month, a marginal increase on the 48,300t figure for the same month of 2019.

Looking at the whole-year figures, total carcass weight of slaughtered cattle in 2020 was 633,400t, an increase on the 619,800t figure for 2019.

Carcass weight of slaughtered sheep decreased slightly in December 2020 compared to December 2019, falling from 5,800t to 5,500t.

On a whole-year basis, total sheep carcass weight in 2020 increased marginally on 2019, rising to 66,300t from around 66,000t.

Finally, for pigs, total carcass weight in December 2020 was 26,000t, up from 23,700t in December 2019. On a whole-year basis, total pig carcass weight increased from 304,400t in 2019 to 320,500t in 2020.